Smoking on Trains

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EbbwJunction1

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Last Saturday morning, I was travelling from Paddington to Cardiff, having been away for a couple of days.

Everything was going well, until between Swindon and Bristol Parkway, a message was heard asking the Train Manager to contact the driver. Anyway, almost straight afterwards, the brakes went on and we came to a sudden halt. This was followed by repeated announcements that the train had stopped because the system had detected that someone in Coach D was smoking. I wasn't in that coach, so I don't know what actually happened, but after a while (about 10 - 15 minutes, I think), we restarted and carried on. However, the No Smoking message was repeated several times, and continued until Bristol Parkway.

This made me think: how often does this happen these days? I know that there's often a message saying that all trains and stations are non smoking, but I don't think that I've ever been on a train that's stopped for this reason. If I have, it's a long time ago, possibly at around the time that smoking was banned, but I can't remember it.

I guess that if they had identified the culprit, he / she would have been reported to BTP and probably been punished, although I'm not sure how this would have been done.

Has anyone had a similar incident, either as a passenger or staff, please? If so, what happened next?
 
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Neo9320

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I remember travelling from burton on trent to Edinburgh on one occasion and we made an unscheduled stop at willington (next stop after burton). Was rather shocked as it wasn’t on the itinerary. Upon asking the TM why we were stopped I was informed they had kicked someone off for smoking. Never experienced anything of the like before or since.

However, having ran hospitality establishments for most of my life though it doesn’t surprise me. Once had to ask a gent to put his cigar out in the middle of a restaurant and he kicked off at me wanting to know why. I told him smoking indoors was illegal, he replied ‘since when?’ I replied 2007……this was 2011…and the worst part was he was serious!
 

SargeNpton

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Guessing that the culprit was smoking in the loo and that the smoke alarm had flagged up in the cab.
 

SargeNpton

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I wondered whether that was it ... are there alarms anywhere else in IET's?
Probably, but those who risk smoking on board think that if they do it in the loos no one will know about it. Very rare these days to see it done in the main part of the coach or in the vestibules.
 

EbbwJunction1

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I remember travelling from burton on trent to Edinburgh on one occasion and we made an unscheduled stop at willington (next stop after burton). Was rather shocked as it wasn’t on the itinerary. Upon asking the TM why we were stopped I was informed they had kicked someone off for smoking. Never experienced anything of the like before or since.

However, having ran hospitality establishments for most of my life though it doesn’t surprise me. Once had to ask a gent to put his cigar out in the middle of a restaurant and he kicked off at me wanting to know why. I told him smoking indoors was illegal, he replied ‘since when?’ I replied 2007……this was 2011…and the worst part was he was serious!
I used to steward at Rodney Parade, Newport, and we often had problems with people smoking in the early days. The whole ground was (and is) completely smoke free, and one of the main problems was caused by people vaping ... "I'm not smoking, guv, I'm vaping - it doesn't make any difference, put it out or you'll be put out!"

Probably, but those who risk smoking on board think that if they do it in the loos no one will know about it. Very rare these days to see it done in the main part of the coach or in the vestibules.
Yes, that's the case, I'm sure.
 

Neo9320

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I used to steward at Rodney Parade, Newport, and we often had problems with people smoking in the early days. The whole ground was (and is) completely smoke free, and one of the main problems was caused by people vaping ... "I'm not smoking, guv, I'm vaping - it doesn't make any difference, put it out or you'll be put out!"


Yes, that's the case, I'm sure.
Ah Yes! the wonderful vaping community (whom I have nothing against) have a minority within them that still think it’s not classed as smoking. They’ll learn eventually. (Full disclosure here I am a smoker so there’s no anti smoking/vaping feelings)
 
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Travelling from Colne to Preston on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I could smell what was either vaping or someone spraying scent. Then I noticed that a guy, mid-20s, across the aisle from me, was surreptitiously vaping. I stared at him until he noticed me, and he said "What?" Told him smoking wasn't allowed, and he replied "Are you going to tell anyone else?" I said that he was the only one I could see, and, fair dos, he stopped. There were a couple of young lasses sat at a table a couple of rows in front of me, drinking, and they may also have been vaping.

The thing is, the Guard was going up and down the train and he must have smelt it, but said nothing.
 
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robbeech

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It is a bit of a toss up whether a guard will risk doing something about it, it's good to see they did on this occasion but it might have cost their employer thousands of pounds in delay minutes and i can guarantee nothing happened to the person causing the issues.

The issue isn't smokers, it's arseholes that just happen to smoke. And the trouble with those sorts of people is if they're prepared to smoke on a train there is a higher chance they're prepared to punch the guard if they confront them about it.
 

Stigy

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Ah Yes! the wonderful vaping community (whom I have nothing against) have a minority within them that still think it’s not classed as smoking. They’ll learn eventually. (Full disclosure here I am a smoker so there’s no anti smoking/vaping feelings)
In the eyes of the law, vaping isn’t smoking and any companies who ban this do so at their discretion. For the benefit of the railway, Smoking is covered under railway Byelaw 3, and can be enforced, however this doesn’t cover vaping (it refers to “smoking”, then specifies lighted cigars/cigarettes etc). Bans on vaping is policy, and can obviously be enforced as far as evicting a person for breaching it goes, but that’s about as far as enforcement goes. I guess arguably, you could say that’s all that happens to smokers anyway, but that is punishable the same as any other Byelaw offence is, whereas vaping isn’t.
 

43066

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This made me think: how often does this happen these days? I know that there's often a message saying that all trains and stations are non smoking, but I don't think that I've ever been on a train that's stopped for this reason. If I have, it's a long time ago, possibly at around the time that smoking was banned, but I can't remember it.

Happens all the time. I’ve probably been on half a dozen trains that smell of cigarette smoke in the past couple of months. My local operator is in London and DOO which doesn’t help with this kind of thing because the scrotes doing it know there’s no one in a position to challenge them.

I guess that if they had identified the culprit, he / she would have been reported to BTP and probably been punished, although I'm not sure how this would have been done.

Almost certainly nothing would have happened. Guards aren’t allowed to turf people off trains anymore and can’t reasonably be expected to risk life or limb confronting aggressive/drugged/drunk/mentally unstable miscreants.

As for BTP, it’s well below their radar. You’re lucky to get them to put in an appearance even when someone has been assaulted!

Has anyone had a similar incident, either as a passenger or staff, please? If so, what happened next?

As a DOO driver I smelt smoke loads of times, on one occasion it was so distracting I opened the door into the passenger saloon and asked the person to move back to another coach. There’s nothing else that can realistically be done unfortunately.
 

Trackman

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I've seen foreign visitors light up on trains oblivious to the law but usually put it out when this is pointed out to them and apologise.
Obviously late night trains as well, mainly drunks or sometimes you see scruffs smoking weed on late trains. Best not to approach these people as a guard passenger.
 

D6130

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According to the recorded announcements in the Italo high-speed trains in Italy, anyone smoking OR vaping in a toilet will set off the automatic fire sprinkler system not only in the toilet, but also in the saloon of the carriage concerned....therefore soaking everybody in the carriage with cold water. I've never actually seen it happen in practice, so can't confirm whether it's true or just a psychological deterrent.
 

hexagon789

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I've seen foreign visitors light up on trains oblivious to the law but usually put it out when this is pointed out to them and apologise.
Depends where they are from, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal in most of (if not all) Europe nowadays, so I'm not convinced it's 'ignorance' really.
 

JonathanH

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As a DOO driver I smelt smoke loads of times, on one occasion it was so distracting I opened the door into the passenger saloon and asked the person to move back to another coach. There’s nothing else that can realistically be done unfortunately.
There are still some drivers who smoke in their cabs as well even though they aren't allowed to. Confronting them about it is more difficult.
 

Gloster

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When I used to scrounge cab rides in Sweden thirty years ago, there was a notice telling drivers to stop smoking and empty the ashtray one hour (or possibly thirty minutes) before any changeover.
 

Metal_gee_man

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Was on a class 395, between Medway and Margate, a loveable rogue gets on with a mobility scooter, creates havoc and holds the train up as in reality the scooter was too big, anyway during the journey he gets loud and says f**k it I'm off for a fag, and off he pops and stands between the 2 carriages between the interconnecting doors and sparks up, obviously no smoke detectors there!
Crafty old bugger knew where to go.
 

Scotrail314209

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Was on a class 395, between Medway and Margate, a loveable rogue gets on with a mobility scooter, creates havoc and holds the train up as in reality the scooter was too big, anyway during the journey he gets loud and says f**k it I'm off for a fag, and off he pops and stands between the 2 carriages between the interconnecting doors and sparks up, obviously no smoke detectors there!
Crafty old bugger knew where to go.
I hate people who smoke on trains but I must admit that’s clever.

I can only imagine what experiences on InterCity routes would’ve been like when you were allowed to smoke.
 

baz962

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I used to smell it all the time , well weed mainly , when I drove Doo. Now I have a TM I never smell it. I would have no problems stopping my train though. As far as I'm concerned , many people on a train and possibly trapped if the smoker dropped their cigarette , huge safety risk.
 

yorkie

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....My local operator is in London and DOO which doesn’t help with this kind of thing because the scrotes doing it know there’s no one in a position to challenge them...
But that's not related to the operation of the train; I've known people smoke on trains with Guards if they think the Guard isn't going to come down the train, but I've not witnessed anyone smoking on trains that are driver only operated with a TTI/OBM/OBS patrolling the train.
 

Butts

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I hate people who smoke on trains but I must admit that’s clever.

I can only imagine what experiences on InterCity routes would’ve been like when you were allowed to smoke.

Fantastic - A Maxpax Coffee/ McEwan's Export and a pack of Bensons in The Buffet Car - nirvana !!!
 

43066

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But that's not related to the operation of the train; I've known people smoke on trains with Guards if they think the Guard isn't going to come down the train, but I've not witnessed anyone smoking on trains that are driver only operated with a TTI/OBM/OBS patrolling the train.

It’s not related to the operation of the train but, if there’s nobody aboard apart from the driver (as is the case with the majority of DOO services - basically all of them apart from Southern and SE Javelins), it’s more likely that this kind of thing will go unchallenged. Exactly the same goes for fully guarded trains where there’s only a driver in the front unit and the guard can’t walk through to patrol the entire train due to a lack of gangway doors*.

The key thing is a visible staff presence.

*expect to smell it again on those @baz962 . I already have a couple of times :).
 

61653 HTAFC

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Depends where they are from, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal in most of (if not all) Europe nowadays, so I'm not convinced it's 'ignorance' really.
Not sure if things have changed in the ensuing years, but in 2017 Smoking was permitted on platforms in Germany, only in designated smoking areas. Not sure of the rules on trains though. A year later on the French sleeper there was no smoking on board but smoking was permitted on platforms during the longish stopovers at both Toulouse and Bordeaux.
 

yorkie

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It’s not related to the operation of the train but, if there’s nobody aboard apart from the driver (as is the case with the majority of DOO services - basically all of them apart from Southern and SE Javelins), it’s more likely that this kind of thing will go unchallenged. Exactly the same goes for fully guarded trains where there’s only a driver in the front unit and the guard can’t walk through to patrol the entire train due to a lack of gangway doors*.

The key thing is a visible staff presence.

*expect to smell it again on those @baz962 . I already have a couple of times :).
I agree that if no-one patrols the train, this sort of thing will go unchallenged, yes.
 

43066

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I agree that if no-one patrols the train, this sort of thing will go unchallenged, yes.

And for the record I agree guards absolutely do need to be calling this kind of thing out and challenging it when they see it, at least as far as they can (the good ones do, of course). Being invisible in the back cab is as good as not being there at all as far as the passengers are concerned.
 

507020

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According to the recorded announcements in the Italo high-speed trains in Italy, anyone smoking OR vaping in a toilet will set off the automatic fire sprinkler system not only in the toilet, but also in the saloon of the carriage concerned....therefore soaking everybody in the carriage with cold water. I've never actually seen it happen in practice, so can't confirm whether it's true or just a psychological deterrent.
Is it actually announced in such detail every time?
 

Butts

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I used to smell it all the time , well weed mainly , when I drove Doo. Now I have a TM I never smell it. I would have no problems stopping my train though. As far as I'm concerned , many people on a train and possibly trapped if the smoker dropped their cigarette , huge safety risk.

What utter nonsense - how many train fires were caused by smoking in the 150 + years it was allowed ?

Intrigued to to see the post about a few "Rogue Drivers" who are still partial to the Benson in their Cab !!

Is anyone going to defend the "supposed" Smoking Ban on open platforms ?
 

baz962

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It’s not related to the operation of the train but, if there’s nobody aboard apart from the driver (as is the case with the majority of DOO services - basically all of them apart from Southern and SE Javelins), it’s more likely that this kind of thing will go unchallenged. Exactly the same goes for fully guarded trains where there’s only a driver in the front unit and the guard can’t walk through to patrol the entire train due to a lack of gangway doors*.

The key thing is a visible staff presence.

*expect to smell it again on those @baz962 . I already have a couple of times :).
Ha . The inter city or the other routes we do.
 
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